For most of us, 2020 and the time spent at home was a chance for reflection. We thought about our families, friends, and the vacations we would take when lockdown lifted. We all felt a large shift in the workforce – some people lost their jobs while others worked round-the-clock putting their own health at risk. Now, as we get back to a more “normal” workplace and pace, some trends are emerging.
More than ever, workers are in the driver’s seat. Employers are dealing with never- before-seen staff shortages and are more likely to work with you and listen to your needs when it comes to being able to do a job safely and efficiently. Maybe you would like more flexibility in your start time. Maybe you want to work solely from home or you would like a dedicated desk in a less traveled area of the office… if that’s your dream, make it part of your negotiations. Asking for and honoring those requests leads to another huge trend involving soft skills.
Soft skills include social skills, communication skills, and traits and attitudes that make getting the job done more efficient. These skills are an increasingly important part of both your and your employers’ portfolio.
You want your new boss to be empathetic to your needs, but they are going to expect the same from you. This could mean razor sharp communication skills. If you’re working from home, you need to be able to convey that you understand the task or if you don’t, you need to be able to communicate that as well. Communication could be as simple as answering a direct message in an acceptable amount of time so no one is left hanging.
Excellent social skills are especially important if employees aren’t in the office at the same time. Make a point of coming in once a week for meetings or attending virtual happy hour to make those connections. Soft skills will get you solid results and allow you to be seen as a serious and dedicated employee.
Flexibility is one of the biggest buzzwords in the workforce today. If you are able to enjoy accommodations such as working from home, keep in mind that it is fair for your employer to ask for certain things like taking an after-hours work call or checking emails while you’re on vacation. Today’s work environment involves a lot of give and take.
While some job particulars may have changed, it still all comes down to an employee that’s reliable and ready to work.